PERFORMING ARTS

But What I Really Want To Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera

St. Martin’s. Oct. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781250260123. pap. $19.99. FILM
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In this blend of memoir and how-to guide to directing, Kwapis, who has directed TV series such as The Larry Sanders Show, The Office, and Santa Clarita Diet, explains that the seeds of his career were planted long ago, when he received a Super-8 camera as a birthday present. After earning a bachelor’s degree and venturing to Southern California, he directed after-school specials before moving on to feature films including Follow That Bird, He Said, She Said, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Kwapis discusses his directing experiences: working with volatile actors such as Rip Torn and Gary Shandling, blocking scenes, storyboarding, and storytelling. Film fans will be pleased at Kwapis’s behind-the-scenes look, while those eager to launch a career in filmmaking will appreciate his blend of advice, anecdotes, and technical tricks.
VERDICT An enjoyable memoir that offers lessons on filmmaking, what counts as success in Hollywood, and the magic of film.

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